Just Hanging Out in Kyoto

Yesterday we went with Maki and the girls, first to the most interesting pet store I have ever been to… which I will save for a seperate blog, as it was completely mindblowing… and then to a local udon restaurant for lunch. Apparently the udon were very good, Shikoku style, a little firmer and chewier…

Gion, Ponto-cho, Sake and Gin

Written by Super Sake Boy As the evening fell, Nihonshu Girl (aka Blossomkitty) and I set out for a little exploration on our own. Our plan was to wander the back streets and laneways of Gion and Ponto-cho, spot some Maiko (aka Geisha), sneak in some street photography, and settle down in a small timeless…

Messages from Lady Murasaki

Super Sake Boy proved his driving prowess yesterday, by driving us around Kyoto in Maki-san’s car. Now driving in another country is usually not too intimidating, even on the other side of the road… however, in Kyoto and surrounds, the roads were created as a complete afterthought. Most of the buildings were built hundreds of…

Sengoku Samurai Heaven… Osaka

The first time I came to Japan, I stayed in Osaka for three or four days. I was not a huge fan. I found the trains much more difficult to navigate than those in Tokyo and just the general, overall vibe of the place a little less charming than many other places I have been…

Urban Exploration, Kyoto

So, after wasting a half a day in bed and elsewhere….. I bounced back and we squeezed so much into our day yesterday, my feet are still hurting. Around 25,000 steps of exploration and fun. We started our day at Starbucks in Gion. A tradition for both SSB (Super Sake Boy), the kids and me…….

薬 too much kusuri

Kusuri means medicine in Japanese. It’s funny, because the two radicals (kanji roots) are grass and fun…. I guess it refers to all drugs. I have enough Japanese to be able to convey what I need in a chemist. But it is somewhat overwhelming when you are faced with rows and rows of products and…

Clear Water Temple 清水寺 

Kiyomizu-dera temple is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. Lancy had planned an afternoon with her friend, Shuko’s father, who is a professional potter, and we decided to spend the morning temple strolling and around the old areas of Higashiayama, on our way to her house. It was a perfect day for such…

Deer, oh deer

A not too early traditional Japanese breakfast (yum…. rice, miso, pickles, nori and fish) and we were off exploring again. After a quick Starbucks stop, and the biggest coffee I have ever had, we jumped on the rapid train to Nara. Nara was the original capital of Japan from 710-794, before it was moved to…

Serious Sakura

So, a little more than two years later and I am back in Japan. This time with a partner in crime, Super Sake Boy (what could possibly go wrong)…. and four teenagers in tow, Ewan, Abby, Mya and Harper. We arrrived on Wednesday, a little dishevelled and tired, having had a 4 and 1/2 hour…

Valentine’s Day… Japanese Style

Photo credit here Valentine’s Day in Japan is celebrated differently than anywhere else in the world. It is a day that women gift men, usually chocolate. There are several different types of chocolate given, for a multitude of reasons. There is, of course, etiquette involved, and as with all gift giving in Japan, it is…

Uniquely Japanese- Inemuri 居眠り

Inemuri translates roughly to “snooze” or “doze, however, it very common, in fact, an every day experience, to see Japanese people sleeping in public places. Most commonly, on trains. It is quite alarming at first. It is almost as if a wave of collective narcolepsy has overtaken the train carriage. However, you soon become accustomed…

Climbing Mt. Fuji… Metaphorically

If I had have seen the info graphic on how long different languages take to master before embarking on my language journey, would I have chosen the language which takes longer than any other, by far? Maybe… I like a challenge. I could have become fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian in the time…